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Lines of Bisection: An (A)e(s)th(et)ic(al) Suspension of the Telelogical

by: Scott F. Parker

“There is no human who exists metaphysically.”
—Kierkegaard

From wherever I begin, from there I set out with a destination in mind (even when the destination is the process), an endpoint envisioned (even when the envisioning is of an endpoint that will present itself at some undisclosed point in time to some as yet undisclosed—or unconceived—future self), or imagined, or invented post hoc—a step having been already taken from the origin; all of these are endings. The forward thrust of the moving edge of my consciousness traces a line leading into an infinitesimal unknown, the receding limit of destiny on the horizon. What vague outline beckons? Cohesion, completion, consciousness finally circled and contented (a self in full). The teleological pull of a promise whose appeal is so appealing for the sake of the unkemptness it promises (falsely) to relieve.

A writer who sets himself a problem has already set his answer, too: this arrangement of words follows that.

Fig. 1. Lines of Bisection
Figure 1. Lines of Bisection

Here is my problem: here is the goal I never obtain: there is the moving target of my self-satisfaction, my self-acceptance, my self-identify, my self itself: all things gathered up under the covered structure of this sturdy timeline: thoughts occurring in order: this idea always needing and invoking the next: no periodicity in this chain, just links of instances soldered at their endpoints and melding into the causal chain of the history of this sentence: it reaches where it needs to reach and no further: it reaches out to the responsibility to elucidate:

My life made sense when I was a physics student: the teacher said Tycho Brahe had a wooden nose and a weak bladder—I too was ready to represent science and the certain knowledge of precisely (if my results were empirically falsifiable, they were still consistent(ly bold)) where the shoe would hit the floor: my vector was magnanimous and I could identify crystal forms in Europan water without a telescope: I invented the future every time I looked at the sky. This period of my life, though, was over before it reached its midpoint: I learned of Zeno of Elea and lost all sense of progress: I was past Newton and bound for Feynman when the conservation of linear momentum was disproved by the gravitational force of my human fucking heart (q.e.d.). . .

I got to Feynman anyway because anyone who writes like he bongos is worth the rhythm of a dance through possibility where probability leads to the necessity of answering the paradox in whatever terms are available to you: these are my terms: existence and essence, in that order: everything is up for grabs and the narrative resists, resists conclusion . . . where would it end?

But the synthetic urge was strong in me and I blew through the idea that I didn’t write this whole thing, this whole endless stream of thing leading on to thing, for the sake of a metaphysics that would make Hegel jealous (if only he’d been born later, if only . . . ) . . . process me processing my process as I tie strings across valleys and tell Nietzsche to walk:

That’s where I’m suspended, alone with everyone else: halfway between always and the
philosopher of the future (you’ve heard the future comes the day after tomorrow): be ready: to jump: our souls spread wide as we reach for the summation that will give us a moment to breathe if it gives us anything at all—and if it gives us nothing, nothing we will take: we are strong. And we make declarations.

That’s the history, summarily told: physics and philosophy written, only silence left untranslated—and I fear I’ll never arrive.

Moving forward, the question is this: the situation is this:

Looking back, I see the journey started long ago and the terminus is no closer, though much ground has been gained. I proceed.

I always proceed.

The project is clear: to write the self into being, to compose a life.

But the rules keep changing, my keyboard keys keep sticking: only the metaphysical buttons are working and I can’t push them anymore. I can’t do it. They won’t go.

The question remains: which self I will create (which one created I?) and which one is doing the writing and how are they related?

And the answer hasn’t changed in a million evolutionary years: I’m barefoot here and there’s no ground beneath my feet.

I ripped the bootstraps clean off my boots.

The story keeps restarting; I keep restarting it, waiting for the true, the definitive, to present itself. I don’t believe in anything, but it’s in my faithful bones to try.

Time and words and self all tumbling around and spiraling in on one another . . . the noise amplifying and magnifying and crescendoing and et cetera and ending in: